Painting with Metallics

Why does my royal icing break down when I paint it with metallics??  My dots disintegrate, my hearts seem to melt . . . I use vodka mixed with the silver/gold dust and my icing is dry.  Am I doing something wrong?  HELP!  (And, thank you.)

Jill Newton

Original Post

Sounds like you use too much vodka. Alcohol disintegrates icing, at least a little. So if you use very thin metallic paint on very tiny icing elements, like dots, this can happen. Try to have the paint as thick as possible, maybe this will help.

But it could also be that you had air bubbles in the icing and the alcohol breaks them in - though this would probably look less like melting and more like Swiss cheese

That's what I can think of, but it could be something different that is causing these problems...

Hi. I also experienced this problem when I moved overseas to Russia. I brought meringue powder with me and mixed up royal icing as I always do. I was shocked when I made my first cookies here in Russia. All my icing disintegrated on contact with hand painting. Metallics, food color etc... I began a long journey trying to figure out why. I am still baffled by this phenomenon here because when I'm in America it NEVER happens. Here are a few tips that have worked for me. 

First- I switched to pure egg white powder instead of meringue powder. I use the recipe from Eddie Spence who is a Royal Icing Master.

15 grams egg white powder

75 ml warm water

455 grams powdered sugar

(optional- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar)

Put warm water and egg white powder in mixing bowl. Let sit 5 minutes and then whisk it to soft peaks. Sift in powdered sugar and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Firm peaks. Let rest overnight and then color and thin to proper consistency for piping, flooding etc... Resting overnight is optional but I find it is way better if you can plan ahead.

This helped a lot. I found the surface of my cookie flood way stronger and didn't melt so quickly. I hope this will make a difference for you. You can also try to add 1 tsp egg white powder to your existing recipe of royal icing and experiment with the ratios. 

Second- when I need a very tough royal icing surface (kids will be painting on them) I make the above recipe and add 15 grams of SugarVeil powder to the bowl at the beginning with the egg white powder. This works like magic for a great paintable surface that is ALMOST melt proof. The only downside is that it's a little too firm for my liking but the kids could care less. They eat them anyway. 

By the way- I also switched to Rainbow Dust ready metallic paints. They are awesome and way easier than mixing the dust.  No melting surface to speak of.

Good luck!

Thank you so much!!  I've never seen pure egg white powder here in the States but actively search for it.  I have a PLETHORA of dusts trying to see which one works best but haven't, yet, tried the Rainbow Dust.  Will try all of your suggestions to see what works.   Again, thank you!  Love this forum!!  

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